O Magritte Sky

magritte beautiful world

“Beautiful World” by Rene Magritte

Today begins the “O Antiphons.”

 

from the USCCB website:

 

The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.

Here’s an artistic rendering of these by Philip Chircop SJ:

 

o antiphons by philip chircop sj

In English, they read:

 

O Wisdom of our God Most High,

O Lord of the House of Israel,

O Root of Jesse’s stem,

O Key of David,

O Radiant Dawn,

O King of all nations

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law

But I have my own set of “O Antiphons”, and I’m going to use one for each of these days. They are really plays on words in some cases, and others, just private symbols of mine. But they are also poems and prayers: I love some of the paintings I’ve found that depict some of these images, and will put them here, too. So, to begin:

O Magritte sky

over the dead college,

over the government installation

between snowstorms at sunset,

classroom buildings black shoulders

trees creaking butlers in high relief,

bring me an illusion of reprieve.

magritte the-blank-page-1967(1)

“The Blank Page” by Rene Magritte

 

magritte territory-1957(1)“Territory” by Rene Magritte

 

 

 

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